Which expiration dates on food packaging should you pay attention to?

This used to be a pretty common practice (or rat poison) iirc it’s been less common after tons of news stories about it.

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My Mother-in-law (who probably has a touch of OCD) recently took it upon herself to go through the cupboards at my house and dispose of anything that was past its expiration date. She thought she was doing us a favor but it was extremely frustrating for me to learn about it after the fact and see that so much food was thrown out, in the middle of a pandemic of all times. She doesn’t get the subtleties of the sliding scale of food freshness, and was really worried about seeing any of her grandkids eating expired food.


what on earth would you do with it?

we had some 60s civil defense boxes at the lab in the basement and the crackers and candy were fine.
oh, and the morphine.


Not going to post the whole quote here, but this has been going on for a long time.

Also, Alex de Waal:

Famine is a very specific political product of the way in which societies are run, wars are fought, governments are managed. The single overwhelming element causation—in three-quarters of the famines and three-quarters of the famine deaths—is political agency. Yet we still tend to be gripped by this idea that famine is a natural calamity.



Well, her heart was in the right place>

I didn’t say it was new. Just that it’s an underpinning of capitalism and therefor why they would rather waste food than let it go to anyone at no charge. TANSTAAFL.

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Idk, There is a hazardous waste day here a couple of times a year. They might take it.

And at the other end of the spectrum, my wife’s friend has a mother who won’t throw anything out. She’s kept green bologna. Somehow she’s still alive. Well, last I heard at least.


Makes sense. Everyone wins. The manufacturer or grower, the supplier, the shipper, the store…

but, but it’s an objet d’art

I have a friend who, on more than one occasion, ate several week old KFC (it was in a fridge). I wouldn’t have done it, but he survived nicely. I guess fast (…fat) food has its own rules.

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Clostridium for one
Milk with bovine tuberculosis used to kill trns of thousands a year
E. Coli


"Carloads of oranges dumped on the ground.

"The people come for miles to take the fruit, but this could not be. How would they buy oranges if they could drive out and pick them up? And men with hoses squirt kerosene on the oranges… A million people hungry, needing the fruit – and kerosene sprayed over the golden mountains.

"And the smell of rot fills the country.

"Burn coffee for fuel in the ships… Dump potatoes in the rivers and place guards along the banks to keep the hungry people from fishing them out. Slaughter the pigs and bury them…

“And children dying of pellagra must die because a profit cannot be taken from an orange. And coroners must fill in the certificates – died of malnutrition – because the food must be forced to rot.”

The Grapes of Wrath


This might be splitting hairs, but I feel like those are markers of food contamination, not spoilage.

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Very much splitting hairs. Both are “nasty shit growing in the food to the point where you shouldn’t eat it.”

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I believe this is what you’re seeking:


The amount of salt in KFC is staggering. It was probably better preserved than beef jerky.


Quit calling them expiration dates They’re best-before dates. We constantly eat food that passed its best-before date. Just use common sense, FFS.


Amazon owned Whole Foods throws it into a compactor. Trader Joe’s used to throw away a lot but a documentary about their huge food waste leveraged them into donating some of it